Monday, March 22, 2010

Mix Tape Monday: SXSW Recovery

My dear friend, Shawna, and I attended SXSW this weekend in Austin. Both of us have been several times before and her man's band had a couple of shows, so we were terribly excited to be going again this year. They sell wristbands(musicians) and badges and supposedly theses can get you into everything. The Walk-up rate for buying a Music badge when you get there is $750. Had you remembered to purchase it back before Sept.25 you only paid $595. I had never bought a badge or a wristband in years past ,and I never had any trouble getting into shows I wanted to see. This year was completely different.
Once we got downtown Friday afternoon, Shawn and I met up with Clint and Corey (both have musician wristbands) to decide the plan of attack for the evening and e stopped into Mike's Pub for a beer.
Shawna and Clint
We were all agreed that we wanted to try to get in Band of Horses and then Broken Social Scene. But they way it works requires you to show up super early because those without badges and wristbands have to wait until the showcase starts before the bouncer fellas let you in. They want to make sure that all the badge holders and wristband wearers can get in before the sad cheap folk who didn't buy anything get in.We got in line at the Parish at about 6pm for a band who wouldn't be taking the stage until 12:45am. 
But as we were waiting in line to try and get in the Parish for Broken Social Scene they put up a sign that said "Wristbands and Badges ONLY". So we sighed and headed towards the church of 8th to try and get in to see Band of Horses. We get there and wait in line for a bit, only to have another SXSW official tell everyone that this show is badge only. Lame. Both Shawna and I told Clint he should go back to the Parish because he could still get in that show with his wristband, but he decided to stick it out with us. So we sit on the curb of 6th Street to find out who else is playing. And as we flip through the schedule we find Minus the Bear! So we head down to the Rusty Spurs and wait in line. They only let 30 non- badge or wristband folk in so luckily we got there early enough to be in the top 10.We chatted with the fellas in front of us about how lame this wristband/badge business was getting and how much better it was last year.When we got in to the club, I payed $4 for a beer, which seemed outragous because I don't even like beer but I figured a cocktail would cost me my unborn child. I love Minus the Bear but Shawna and Clint were neutral on them so I kinda felt bad that they stuck around to see a band I wanted. We were starving so we got our hands stamped for reentry and head toward the pizza van. Super hot greasy yummy pizza! And then after a brief discussion of how old we are and how we needed coffee to make it through the evening because Minus the Bear did go on until 1:00am, we stopped at a cigar/coffee bar. Full of wonderful characters. I met a guy from New York who was playing across the street and he was also old and needed coffee to make it through the night. After we headed back toward Rusty Spurs, Shawna mentioned that people always seem to talk to me and although I hadn't noticed before, she was right. We decided its because I smile too much, I look friendly. But its not always a bad thing.
Back at the Rusty Spurs... We heard so really great bands, and one absolutely horrible band.
Birds of Youth, fronted by a chick named Beth. They were great, very jammy.

This amazing band from Scotland Codeine Velvet Club




Super awesome and their albulm is available on iTunes!

Finally Minus the Bear!

And their sound chack was longer than their set which was a total bummer. Bu their se was awesome nonetheless. But sadly my camera battery died, and I didn't take any pics with my iPhone...I just wasn't thinking.
We took the night owl bus back to the Park and Ride, where an extremely drunk Irish guy decided to ask me if I knew where he lived...sadly I didn't. But, he did tell me that he planned on marrying Zooey Deschanel and I sadly informed him that she was already married. I think he made it home. Maybe?
Saturday a cold front blew in and freezed up nasty cold and windy. Yuck! But we headed downtown anyway...after a Starbucks run.
We went to the Brooklyn Vegan show, M is for Montreal. Where we saw two amazing bands and a couple of crap bands ( Dutchess=CRAP).
Think About Life...super fun and dancy... the whole tent was bouncing!

And Holy F**k...crazy name, amazing music!
2 Dudes spinning, a bass player, and a drummer.


After the show Shawna, Clint and I headed down to South Congress to grab so food and do a little shopping. We had lunch at The Woodland. They had meatloaf and I had shrimp and grits...yummy. Oh, and tea because we were freezing.

 We shopped for a bit at Bohemia, a great vintage shop, American Apparel, Parts and Labor, and the most important stop of all, St. Francis Thrift Shop... where I picked up another sweatshirt and a scarf because the temperture had dropped again.
We headed towards the Auditorium to wait for She and Him and also in hopes of getting some what close to the stage. Plus, it was the only place with free bathrooms. It was freezing!


We saw Dawes, Lucero, and the Justin Townes Earl Band



Sadly, the sound check for She and Him took 50 minutes. They finally took the stage and had to do another soundcheck to fix stuff and get the mic's right. Zooey looked super cute, she wore a blue pea coat with white piping and a floppy red hat. She sang well, but had very little stage presence, and she hardly talked to the crowd. After all the waiting, it was kinda boring. Maybe I expected something just wonderful because I think she is so wonderful. But it was just blah.

This was my very sad view. Lots of the back of heads.
Then we headed down 6th Street to meet up with Clint and the boys who just finished their set. We ate at this great Vietnamese place called Mekong River, super great and crazy affordable.
We headed back to the hotel to rest up before we had to get up at 5am to head back so Clint could be at work on time.
All in all, it wasn't the best SXSW. I did learn about some new bands but some of the bands we played to see were kind of a letdown. We have not planned to go back next year... we have decided we might be too old.

1 comment:

kiki said...

sxsw was sooo norway 2004! lol well we survived and at least we didn't fall down 2 flights of stairs like dan haha....i liked that first minus the bear song...i think i'm just gonna link your blog to mine b/c i'm lazy haha great post!!! let keep our fingers crossed margot is coming to town for the toms festival! ps i think we are too old...